Of course, you would prefer to just do a sprinkler repair rather than a full system replacement. However, there are some circumstances where getting a full system replacement can save you money, and headaches, help you use less water, and help you keep your landscape greener without putting in more work. Here’s how to assess if a full system replacement is in your best interests or if you can get away with just a sprinkler repair.
Is this the second or third sprinkler head that has needed a repair? Does your system keep springing leaks? If you find yourself having to do multiple repairs to your irrigation system in a short period of time, that is a good sign that you need a complete replacement instead. The system may keep needing work until every part is replaced. In this kind of circumstance, it is often cheaper to just get the system replaced before you invest too much in repairs.
Consistent repairs might be caused by things other than the age of the system. For example, forgetting to winterize the system might cause leaks and issues throughout. Things that shift the ground, like driving heavy equipment nearby, excavations, and earthquakes may also make for system-wide problems.
Fifteen or Twenty-Year-Old Systems
While sprinkler systems last quite a long time, they won’t last forever. Well-made systems might achieve twenty years, systems that aren’t quite that high quality might last fifteen. At that point, it is a wise idea to replace the system before you start getting the systemic issues that might cause consistent repairs. Your valves, pipes, sprinkler heads and other components may begin to spring leaks which are costly to replace and could waste water and damage landscaping in the meantime. An irrigation tech can tell you if it’s time to replace your system due to age.
Significant Changes to Landscaping
Any large changes to your landscaping might necessitate some changes to your sprinkler system. Sometimes this might involve a complete reinstall. Maybe you bought the home with a huge green lawn and several flower beds and turned that into some xeriscaping, some veggie gardens, or a rock garden. In these cases, you might need an overhaul of your irrigation system to meet the new needs of your landscaping. This is particularly likely if you’ve moved the location of major features of the landscape.
Of course, you do not want to get your whole system, or significant portions of your system, replaced when you have one-time issues. The underlying cause of the problem is usually a good hint as to whether you’re dealing with a one-time issue or if the problem is likely to reoccur elsewhere. For example, one clogged sprinkler head is likely a one-time issue. But if the head is malfunctioning due to water pressure problems, it is worth it to investigate if the rest of the system was impactedbyt this problem. Your irrigation professional can help.